UN agency: Damage caused by Türkiye quakes set to exceed $100B - M5 Dergi
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UN agency: Damage caused by Türkiye quakes set to exceed $100B

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Damage from the massive earthquakes that jolted southeastern Türkiye last month is estimated to be over $100 billion, the United Nations said

“Already it is clear that just the damages alone will amount to more than $100 billion,” Louisa Vinton of the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) told reporters via video link from Gaziantep province, adding that the recovery costs “will be on top of that.”

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes on Feb. 6 caused widespread destruction in the southeast of Türkiye, killing over 45,000 people and leading to the collapse or severe damage of over 230,000 buildings.

Described as the worst disaster in Türkiye’s modern history, the quakes, which also severely hit neighboring Syria, impacted an area home to some 13.5 million people or over 15% of the country’s population.

The World Bank estimated last week that the devastating quakes had caused damage worth more than $34 billion, with recovery likely to double that sum.

But Vinton said the Turkish government, with support from UNDP, the World Bank and the European Union, had calculated far greater damage.

While preliminary, “it is clear from the calculations being done to date that the damage figure presented by the government and supported by the three international partners will be in excess of $100 billion,” she said.

Vinton’s remarks come ahead of a major donor conference that is set for next week.

The provisional damage figure, which Vinton said covers just Türkiye, is being used as a basis for the donor conference to mobilize funds for earthquake victims in Brussels, Belgium on March 16, she added.

Recovery costs, including efforts to build improved and more environmentally sustainable infrastructure, “will obviously exceed that amount,” she said.

So far, she said, UNDP was “very disappointed and saddened” by the low level of response to funding appeals to date.

A $1 billion flash appeal made on Feb.16 is currently funded at just 9.6% of the total, she said.

Vinton described the scenes in Türkiye’s worst-hit Hatay province as “apocalyptic”, saying hundreds of thousands of homes have been destroyed.

“The needs are vast but the resources are scarce,” she added.

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